The social development of the child is something often over-looked in our increasingly academically focused world. It's something that is essential to the overall development of the child. The social development of the child is aided by the multi age groupings you will find in a Montessori school.
In Montessori schools, children are divided into groups according to age. These ages are based on 'Planes of Development' which means all the children in the age group are developmentally going through the same stages. Even though Montessori schools are more than 100 years old, children's development still occurs in the same way it did when the first 'Children's House' opened in Rome in 1907.
The children accept the unspoken responsibility to be willing to help one another, which is an important aspect of the mixed ages in our classrooms. The younger children look up to the older children and the older children take care of the younger children. And sometimes, the younger ones find ways to help the older ones.
Wherever the child falls in the birth order of the family, cousins, or friend group at home, it is wonderful to see her take on different leadership roles in the classroom.
Our active community lends itself to responding to the developmental needs of each child. The children have the freedom to talk, play, work together, and strengthen the community through the real activities of daily life.
“Our schools show that children of different ages help one another. The younger ones see what the older ones are doing and ask for explanations. These are readily given and the instruction is really valuable, for the mind of the five-year-old is so much nearer to ours than to the mind of a child of three, that the little one learns easily…There is a communication and a harmony between the two that one seldom finds between the adult and the small child." -Dr. Maria Montessori
Thank you to Meg Porter Photography for the beautiful images in this post. You can see more of her work on her website www.megporterphotography.com or www.megandkate.com for weddings.
We are an AMI accredited Montessori school growing daily in spirit & intellect!